Chickpea Arrabiata

Chickpea Arrabiata

When you have a 5-year old you end up at a lot of red sauce, old school Italian restaurants.

Our little guy is a big fan of carbs. His favorites are pasta and pizza.

That limits our options dining out. We have to make him happy before mom and dad.

But I’m not complaining. We love pasta and pizza, too!

Plus we’ve figured out that a notebook and crayons keep him entertained through an entire meal.

Chickpea Arrabiata

I don’t always order a giant plate of pasta when we go to these places, but when I do have a noodle craving, I always pick the same thing.

Spicy penne arrabiata is my dish of choice. I love the heat. The spicier sauce the better!

Chickpea Arrabiata

I think that’s why we go through so many red pepper flakes at home. Both my husband and I like to sprinkle them in sauce or on pasta with just garlic and olive oil.

It’s amazing how a mere pinch of those potent flakes adds a big punch of heat to pretty much anything.

With all the cold weather in the last few weeks, we’ve been staying in rather than going out to eat.

I made my own chickpea arrabiata with a can of crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic and of course, lots of red pepper flakes.

Chickpea Arrabiata

How To Make Chickpea Arrabiata

There was a box of penne in our pantry, but I wanted to make my version healthier. I decided to skip the pasta.

When the sauce was almost finished simmering, I stirred in chickpeas and kale.

At first I started to second-guess my decision. I was tempted to add noodles, but the sauce didn’t need them. This chickpea arrabiata was filling enough on its own.

I ate it in a bowl and even spooned it onto crusty bread with grated Parmesan on top. On my to-do list this week, is to make more sauce!


Chickpea Arrabiata

Chickpea Arrabiata
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-27 minutes
  • Total Time: 30-32 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-14.5 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-1/2 cups chopped Lacinato kale, stems removed
Grated Parmesan, chopped parsley and crusty bread for serving


Heat the olive oil in a large sauté  pan over medium high heat. Sauté the onions and until they soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. 

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and kale. Continue simmering for 5 minutes until the kale has wilted and the chickpeas are heated through.

Serve with grated Parmesan, parsley and crusty bread.


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